Linear Habitat

Linear Habitat
Three Houses in a "Linear Labyrinth"
“A man sets out to draw the world. As the years go by, he peoples a space with images of provinces, kingdoms, mountains, bays, ships, islands, fishes, rooms, instruments, stars, horses, and individuals. A short time before he dies, he discovers that the patient labyrinth of lines traces the lineaments of his own face.” Jorge Luis Borges

On a rugged mountainside overlooking the sea in Southern Greece, a three-house complex was meticulously designed for a family. The remarkable features of the plot, including its steep slope, panoramic sea views, optimal orientation, and deep historical roots, profoundly influenced the architectural vision of this project.

The design aims to harmonize with the natural landscape, embracing the essence of Mediterranean living where indoor, outdoor, and in-between spaces seamlessly blend. Simultaneously, it prioritizes privacy, ensuring that each home provides a sanctuary for its occupants. The project’s design principles can be summarized through four distinctive gestures.

Firstly, a linear incision was carefully crafted to minimize excavation and preserve the pristine terrain. This approach respects the natural topography while creating a framework for the architectural intervention.

Secondly, the structural system comprises prisms and walls, meticulously hewn from the excavated stone, paying homage to the architectural scale and heritage of the historic local settlements.

Thirdly, the entrance design presents a captivating contrast to the linear structure, resembling a lighthouse beckoning visitors into a spiraling descent. It plays with the interplay of veiling and unveiling the breathtaking views, orchestrating a captivating dance of light and shadow. The threshold transcends its conventional definition, becoming an immersive transitional experience.

Lastly, a single linear slab is ingeniously employed to accommodate all indoor and outdoor uses, providing protection and facilitating optimal living conditions. This design approach ingeniously integrates various functionalities into a singular, unbroken line, skillfully utilizing the land’s own material. It harmonizes the intricate spatial needs of modern inhabitants, while honoring the minimalist spirit that has shaped this land throughout the centuries.

Perhaps Jorge Luis Borges’ insight holds true: “The labyrinth is not solely a complex structure that can ensnare us indefinitely, but occasionally, it can be distilled into a single, unerring straight line.”

Location: Mani, Greece

Architects: P4architecture 

Design Team: Alkiviadis Pyliotis, Konstantinos Pyliotis

Architect Consultant: Evangelos Fokialis

Contributor: Chrysothemi Kouloumenta 

3D Visualization: blankwall.avs 

Mechanical Engineer Consultant: Sourilas Konstantinos (KNS engineering consultants)

Sculptor of Marble Model: Fotis Georgakas

Location: Mani, Greece Area: 320 m2

Project Year: 2019 

Project Type: Commission (Under Construction)